Ordinance Number 1628
An ordinance of the City of Sugar Land, Texas, amending chapter 5 of the code of ordinances by adopting regulations for a photographic traffic signal enforcement system and renumbering a portion of the chapter.
WHEREAS, vehicles entering intersections on red lights endanger motor vehicle operators and pedestrians alike, and
WHEREAS, vehicles entering intersections on red lights increase the number of serious accidents and injuries to persons, decrease the efficiency of traffic control and traffic flows, and increase the demand on public safety services and the cost to taxpayers, and
WHEREAS, studies have shown that the implementation of a photographic traffic signal enforcement system decreases the number of accidents at intersections being monitored; and
WHEREAS, by adoption of Senate Bill 1119, effective Sept. 1, 2007, the 80th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature authorized cities to administer and enforce photographic traffic signal enforcement systems; NOW, THEREORE;
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL
OF THE CITY OF SUGAR LAND, TEXAS:
Section 1. That Chapter 5 of the Code of Ordinances is amended by renumbering Article V (Telecommunications Providers) to Article VI and by renumbering Sec. 5-156 (Use of public rights-of-way by certain telecommunications providers) to Sec. 5-171.
Section 2. That Chapter 5 of the Code of Ordinances is amended by adding a new Article V, Photographic Traffic Signal Enforcement System, to read as follows:
ARTICLE V. PHOTOGRAPHIC TRAFFIC SIGNAL ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM
Sec. 5-156. Adoption. The City adopts a photographic traffic signal enforcement system that will be administered and enforced in compliance with the provisions of Chapter 707 of the Transportation Code.
Sec 5-157. Definitions. The definitions contained in Chapter 707 of the Transportation Code apply to the same words used in this article.
Sec. 5-158. Civil Penalty Imposed. The owner of a motor vehicle is liable to the City for a civil penalty of $75 if, while facing only a steady red signal displayed by an electrically operated traffic-control signal located in the City, the vehicle is operated in violation of the instructions of that traffic-control signal, as specified by Section 544.007(d) of the Transportation Code, as currently exists or is hereafter amended.
Sec. 5-159. Notice of Violation. The City will mail the owner of a motor vehicle notice of the alleged violation within 30 days from the date of the alleged violation.
Sec. 5-160. Late Charge Imposed. If the owner of a motor vehicle fails to make payment to the City within 45 days of the date that the violation was mailed, the owner is also liable for a late payment penalty in the amount of $25.
Sec 5-161. Administrative Adjudication Hearing.
(a) The owner of a motor vehicle may contest the imposition of the civil penalty by filing a written request for an administrative adjudication hearing within 30 days from the date the notice of violation was mailed.
(b) The administrative adjudication hearing will be held within 30 days of the date the hearing was requested.
(c) The city council will appoint an administrative adjudication hearing officer or officers to preside over the administrative adjudication hearing. The hearing officers have the authority to administer oaths and issue orders compelling the attendance of witnesses and the production of documents.
Sec. 5-162. Assigning liability. To transfer liability for the violation, the owner of a motor vehicle must provide the Police Department with the name, address, and contact information of the actual driver of the motor vehicle at the time of the violation. This information must be provided to the Police Department before the administrative adjudication hearing by submitting a sworn affidavit of penalty of perjury or by testimony under oath at the administrative adjudication hearing.
Sec. 5- 163. Administration. The City’s Police Department will administer and enforce this article.
Section 3. That the provisions of this ordinance are severable and the invalidity of any part of this ordinance will not affect the validity of the remainder of the ordinance. Notice of the enactment of this ordinance will be given by publishing the ordinance or its descriptive caption and penalty in the City's official newspaper one time within thirty days of passage.